A lot has happened since LA Riots branded dance music with a bawdy blend of Indie electro in 2007. Founding partner Daniel LeDisko of New Zealand has since teamed with fellow veteran DJ/producer Jon Pegnato to reinvent a sound that melds influences of techno, house and drum n’ bass. In widening their production scope, LA Riots has managed to maintain underground credibility while remixing for some of the industry’s premier pop and rock labels.
Forming on the 15th anniversary of 1992 Los Angeles Riots, LeDisko and then-partner J.O.B. (John O’Brien) launched their collaborative project on April 27, 2007. As the Indie dance rock sound exploded onto underground and mainstream club circuits, LA Riots became one of its brashest ambassadors, melding electro-laced beats over commercial savvy cuts and vocals.
The original Riots garnered multiple successes, including a North American tour supporting MSTRKRFT with the Bloody Beetroots in 2008 and a spot at Australia’s Global Gathering Festival alongside Kraftwerk, Mark Ronson and Sasha that same year. But by summer 2009, LeDisko aimed to evolve beyond straight Indie electro and explore house and techno production while J.O.B. wanted to head into the mainstream production world, so they decided to go their separate ways. A chance meeting with veteran DJ/producer Pegnato during a San Bernardino set would prove to be a turning point for LA Riots; the two collaborated in the studio and clicked on instant creative chemistry.
Their first studio session yielded some bass-heavy gems, including “The Drop,” their debut original track on Brooklyn-based label Fool’s Gold (A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs). Since then, LA Riots have broadened their musical scope even wider, garnering play from the likes of Crookers, Brodinski and Drop the Lime, to name a few. And while the duo has remixed tracks for a diverse roster of artists including Tiesto, Laidback Luke and Sidney Samson, they continue shining up pop and rock remixes for major labels such as Warner Bros., Virgin, Tommy Boy and Interscope.
Their high-profile productions have landed even higher profile gigs in 2009, including tours with The Crystal Method (“Divided by Night”) and a second with MSTRKRFT as well as appearances at Chicago’s Lollapalooza, ULTRA Music Festival in Miami (2008 and 2009) and Belgium’s Pukklepop Festival. Additionally, Beatport named them as “Break Out Stars” at 2010’s Winter Music Conference.
“We’re always searching for new ways to develop our sound and rock dance floors,” says Pegnato, an L.A. native who brings a production catalogue of 80-plus tracks to the Riots resume.
So far, the formula has worked. From crafting the title track on Kylie Minogue’s “Boombox” EP to remixing rock tunes by Weezer for top-selling Sony Playstation games, LA Riots plays to its production precision in the studio, then bringing the party straight to the decks. The result is nuanced vibe of driving house, Indie electro and quirky techno that simultaneously startles and shines.